Former world champion James MacDonald, Driver of the Year runner-up Bob McClure and east coast native Colin Kelly all trekked west for the fourth annual Pacing for Charity event at Century Downs on Sunday, June 23. The trio competed on the 10-race card and pledged their earnings to their respective charities.
Last year MacDonald, Jody Jamieson and Doug McNair participated to raise over $1,300 from their earnings alone. This year, MacDonald (racing for the Veterans Association Food Bank), McClure (driving for Sonshine Community Services) and Kelly (racing for the Ronald McDonald House) raised nearly $1,300 from their drives and together won five of the 10 races on the card. MacDonald led the trio in wins—winning three on the card—while McClure and Kelly each won one.
“It was a great day; the rain held off and I did better than Bob and Colin,” MacDonald said with a laugh.
Between a natural hat trick for MacDonald, Icy Blue Scooter cruised wide and delivered as the 1-5 favourite in the $9,000 Open Pace. The six-year-old Blue Burner gelding sat fifth as Cool Cowboy led to a :28 opening quarter. MacDonald soon tipped the Nate Sobey trainee off the cones and advanced towards the pacesetter through a half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:25.3. Circumventing Senga Nitro as he stalled first over, Icy Blue Scooter collared Cool Cowboy in the stretch and extended to a two-length win in 1:54.1. Sobey co-owns the $2.20 winner with Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy.
Brothers prevailed earlier on the card with Colin Kelly wiring a $3,000 conditioned pace with Dave Kelly trainee Somewhereinmexico. Setting a pace of :28.1, :57.2 and 1:27 on the lead, Kelly held off a late bid from McClure and pocket-sitter Mystic Ruler to win by three-quarter lengths in 1:56.3. The eight-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding, owned by Mike Dicks, paid $4.10 to win.
McClure later bested Kelly in the penultimate race on the program, romping behind odds-on favourite Outlaw Aceofspades in 1:55.3. McClure pulled the David Lamont owned-and-trained gelding by Smart Shark to the lead past the half and widened his lead through the stretch while Kelly and Explainnotcomplain closed for second. Donna Wyse co-owns the $2.50 winner.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Century Downs.
Article reposted from https://standardbredcanada.ca/news/6-23-19/ontario-drivers-raced-west-charity.html